I’ve had a Sprint Samsung Galaxy S5 since around when it came out over a year ago. I didn’t bother with the warranty plan that would replace my phone for any reason. I’d never taken advantage of the plan when I did have it with previous phones, so figured it wasn’t worth the extra cost.
Now the Galaxy S5 is a waterproof phone. Unfortunately, there is a little rubber tab that covers the USB charging port on the bottom of the phone that protects that port, but the tab breaks for a lot of people, myself included. It lasted about 3-4 months but constant plugging and unplugging eventually leads to the rubber tab breaking. Also, it is a bit annoying to keep unplugging and pluggin in the tab. I did manage to buy a replacement tab online for a few dollars and it didn’t seem like it would be that hard to replace (a few screws but I never looked in depth) and I figured I didn’t really need to replace that USB port tab. I’ve never had a waterproof phone before, and I’d never had a phone get water damaged. I figured it was pretty unlikely that having the USB charging port exposed would cause any problems. Oops.
Fast forward another year, and I may regret those decisions. Where I work, I find that some patients get paranoid about seeing a phone camera pointed at them out of my dress shirt pocket when they see me, so I am in the habit of keeping the phone in my packet upside down. I didn’t drop my phone in the toilet, or drop it in the bath tub, or drop it in water at all. Instead, we had a very heavy downpour of rain and I didn’t think about it at all when I ran to my car about 50 feet away from the grocery store. I got soaked and my phone was in my dress shirt pocket, upside down as usual.
My phone continued to work fine and I didn’t realize there was anything wrong. I got home, and plug it in as I usually do in the evening, but the charge indicator did not go on. Hmm…. I of course figured it was a bad cable, as I’ve had a few cables go out over the years. I try a different cable that was currently charging another phone and that didn’t work either. Uh-oh. This is not looking good. I immediately take my phone apart and remove the battery, as I’ve read that is the best thing to do when facing water damage, but often it is too late by that time. I did see a little bit of water by the USB charging port on the inside of the case, but everything else looked dry. The moisture indicator on the battery was white, which means that no water got there.
I looked around online for solutions and saw a few suggestions. Most sites say that the setting it in rice for 48 hours doesn’t really work. Which I was happy to read because I didn’t want to be without my phone for 48 hours waiting to see if this would fix it. I guess that is stupid logic, as it would be better if I had a solution that would work rather than having to buy a new phone for some ridiculous price.
Several places say cleaning the phone immediately with ispropyl alcohol is good because that will remove the water and keep it from damaging the phone. I almost tried that. But then I saw this video:
I have a large wet/dry vac that I’ve used to dry my flooded basement in the past and so I just hooked it up and suctioned the usb charging port, sealing my fingers around the openings to maximize the suction. I did it for about 15 seconds or so. When I went to plug my phone in, it actually showed it was now charging! I then turned off my phone completely and plugged in in. This time, my phone gave me the battery symbol but instead of it showing that it is charging, it showed the battery with a yellow triangle and exclamation point icon. Hmm – not good. Looking that up means the phone can not read the battery. I went ahead and vacuumed suctioned the phone for about 45 more seconds. The phone continued to power up fine, and when I plugged it in, the charging indicator went on as it should. This time, I didn’t shut off the phone to see what happens with the phone off, but instead I am leaving it plugged in to get the battery recharged, in case it won’t charge with the phone totally off.
I’ll have to post an update later once I’ve seen what happened. I probably should leave the phone unplugged and apart overnight to let it dry more, but I’m not that patient. And that is probably stupid on my part. Once I have the battery reasonably charged, I will turn things off and take the phone apart. Hopefully a good vacuuming out the water has solved the problem. Based on the comments from the above video, it does seem like this solution works for many people. It also seems to have at least as high of a success rate of any other methods I’ve read online.